Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project [Criterion Collection] [9 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD]

This release of foreign films curated by Martin Scorsese includes Touki Bouki, Redes, A River Called Titas, Dry Summer, Trances, and The Housemaid.
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Rating 5 out of 5 stars.
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Special Features

  • New introductions to the films by World Cinema Project founder Martin Scorsese
  • New interview programs featuring filmmakers Abderrahmane Sissako (on Touki bouki), Kumar Shahani (on A River Called Titas), Metin Erksan and Fatih Akin (on Dry Summer), and Bong Joon-ho (on The Housemaid)
  • New visual essay on Redes by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones
  • New program on Trances featuring interviews with director Ahmed El Maânouni, producer Izza Génini, musician Omar Sayed, and Scorsese


Dry Summer
In this drama, the town skin-flint hoardes the only water supply keeping others in his drought ravaged village from the water they desperately need. His water is guarded by his little brother. When a villager is caught trespassing, the miser kills him but assigns the blame to his brother. The dutiful brother goes to prison. Meanwhile the miser tells his brother's wife that he died. Time passes and the brother is pardoned. He gets home just in time to rescue his wife and make sure the village has the water they need. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Touki Bouki
Two youngsters attempt to escape what they perceive to be the poverty and backwardness of their native Senegal. In this movie, a boy (Magaye Niang) and a girl (Mareme Niang) try to gather the funds and connections to enable them to move to France. They believe they will find better wages and a better life there. The boy engages in a number of petty thefts to finance his ambitions but in the end cannot leave without a fetish amulet which he has lost somewhere. The girl fares better. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

A River Called Titas
Director Ritwik Ghatak adapts Advaita Malla Barman sweeping novel detailing the downfall of a once-thriving fishing village situated along the River Titas. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

A musical documentary, Transes brings the Moroccan ensemble of Nass El Riwane to the screen with interviews and scenes from their concerts that illustrate how they have combined traditional rhythms and modern sounds to create successful new music with a wide appeal. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

The Wave
Having studied at the right hand of famed documentarian Robert Flaherty, young aspiring director Fred Zinneman was eminently qualified to collaborate on the direction of the Mexican "actuality" film The Wave (aka Redes). The film was the brainchild of New York-based photographer-documentary producer Paul Strand, who wrote the script and shared directorial credit with the fledgling Zinneman. Filmed on location in Vera Cruz from 1934 to 1935, the continuity follows a group of peasant fisherman as they come to grips with being exploited by local business interests. Strand concentrated on most of the documentary aspects of the film, shooting endless footage of fisherman at work and play, while Zinneman selected the principal actors and handled the dramatic scenes. The Wave was intended as the first in a series on Mexican life, but the money and distributor support just wasn't there; in retrospect, however, Fred Zinneman did pretty well for himself all the same. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Housemaid
Kim Ki-Young directed this suspenseful and disturbing tale of obsession and guilt. Dong-sik (Kim Jin-kyu) is a music teacher whose wife (Ju Jeung-ryu) is expecting a baby. The couple already has two children, and Dong-sik is having trouble covering the bills now that they've moved into a bigger house at his wife's insistence. Hoping to make things easier for his spouse, Dong-sik hires a young woman (Lee Eun-shim) to help with the household chores. However, the new housekeeper has a secret -- she was a close friend of a woman who lost her job and then her life as a result of Dong-sik's betrayal of a confidence. Soon the new housekeeper is using her sensual wiles to lure Dong-sik into infidelity and wrecking her revenge against him and his loved ones. Hanyo (aka The Housemaid) was a major box-office success in Korea upon its first release, but later fell out of circulation in the 1970s; the film was restored with the help of the Korean Film Archive and the new print made its U.S. debut at the American Film Institute's 2010 AFI Fest. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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